Change can be Traumatic [v25]

MARCH 2001

GREETINGS — Here in Michigan, the past month’s temperatures have resembled a yo-yo—with a seven-time “world champion” at the other end—from in the low 70’s to the low “zeros” (Fahrenheit that is). Combine that with winds that ‘rattle’ the glass in your windows so much that you dare not sit by them—you can tell that all this is just a “message” that Spring is coming. That everything will be changing and coming out of “their” hibernation to begin anew.

Change can sometimes be traumatic. Two caterpillars were crawling across the grass when a butterfly flew over them. They looked up, and one nudged the other and said, “You couldn’t get me up in one of those things for a million dollars!” Well, you and I know that the caterpillar has a “butterfly” inside him just waiting to get out—as do we!! (for a powerful short story on this, pick up “Hope for the Flowers,” by Trina Paulus—in the “children’s” section of the bookstore).

I’ve heard of the story that a man finds a cocoon of a butterfly and after watching it struggle for a few hours to force its body through a little hole, the man decides to ‘help’ and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily, but, it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. What the man didn’t understand was that the restricted cocoon and the struggle to get through the tiny hole is God’s way of forcing fluid from the body to its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life to make us strong enough to free ourselves from out of our “cocoon” and to start anew. This concept is wonderfully presented by Merrill C. Tenney, using the Springtime “necessity” of pruning.

“In pruning a vine, two principles are generally observed: first, all dead wood must be ruthlessly removed; and second, the live wood must be cut back drastically. Dead wood harbors insects and disease and may cause the vine to rot, to say nothing of being unproductive and unsightly. Live wood must be trimmed back in order to prevent such heavy growth that the life of the vine goes into the wood rather than into fruit. The vineyards in the early spring look like a collection of barren, bleeding stumps; but in the fall they are filled with luxuriant purple grapes. As the farmer wields the pruning knife on his vines, so God cuts dead wood out from among His saints, and often cuts back the living wood so far that His method seems cruel. Nevertheless, from those who have suffered the most there often comes the greatest fruitfulness.”

Williams Carlos Williams also describes what we might be “feeling” right about now in his poem, “Spring and All:”

“By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
modeled clouds driven from the
northeast– a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees
All along the road, reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines–

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches–

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind–

Now, the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wild carrot leaf

One by one objects are defined–
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance–Still the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken.”

Sometimes when we tell ourselves that “It’s too hard to change,” or “That will never happen,” we presume too much and believe too little. We are making these statements because, knowing ourselves pretty well, we know that we can’t do it by ourselves—but we don’t have to depend upon only ourselves. Through a relationship with Jesus Christ, God renders all of our final conclusions premature and all of our talk of determinism as simply bad faith. In Christ, God opens closed doors, brings resurrection, reveals possibilities, reclaims the lost, liberates the cursed and possessed, and changes the “unchangeable”—and gives you the grace you will need to “struggle” through the circumstances to be able to “become” a new creature.


(NOTE: Please send your ‘thoughts’ to me at:

I am glad to organize and distribute more ‘stuff’ if y’all send it to me… Thank you’s to:

Joy Asashon
Richard Bachman
John Gibson
Jake Izatt
Beth McMillan
Joe Olson
Laurie Westman

In an interesting experiment at Amherst College (Massachusetts) a band of steel was secured around a young squash. As the squash grew, it exerted pressure on the steel band. Researchers wanted to know just how strong a squash could be, so they measured the force it brought to bear on its constraints. They initially estimated that it might be able to exert as much as 500 pounds of pressure.

In one month, the squash was pressing 500 pounds. In two months it was applying 1,500 pounds and, when it reached 2,000 pounds, researchers had to strengthen the steel band. The squash eventually brought 5,000 pounds of pressure to bear on the band — when the rind split open.

They opened it up and found it to be inedible, as it was filled with tough, course fibers that had grown to push against its constraints. The plant required great amounts of nutrients to gain the strength needed to break its bonds, and its roots extended great distances in all directions. This amazing squash had single-handedly taken over the garden space.

We have no idea just how strong we really can be! If a squash can exert that much physical pressure, how much more strength can human beings apply to a situation?

Most of us are stronger than we realize. I am told that it was Eleanor Roosevelt who observed, “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.” (I suspect the same is true of men, but that’s only speculation. ha-ha-ha).

Does an obstacle you are presently facing loom large before you? Does it seem just too big? Perhaps overwhelming? If so, remember the squash. Its single-minded purpose was to break the bonds which held it. If you patiently focus your energy — what problem can stand against the great mental, spiritual and physical strength you can bring to bear?

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity.

After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission—to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

– A man that can’t laugh at himself should be given a mirror.
– You can lead the horse to the well, but you can’t make him drink.
– Better the coldness of a friend than the sweetness of an enemy.
– Be nice to them on the way up. You might meet them all on the way down.
– If a man fools me once, shame on him. If he fools me twice, shame on me.
– Let your anger set the sun and not rise again with it.

Erin Go Bragh (Ireland Forever)

Christians celebrate the first joy of the season, as they celebrate Jesus Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week, with the greatest tragedy and sorrow of the year.

Jesus’ triumphal return to Jerusalem is only one side of the story.

By now many of the Jews are filled with hate for Jesus. They want to see him stoned, calling Him a blasphemer, especially after offering proof of His Divinity during a winter visit to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Dedication.

After this Jesus went to Perea, where he was summoned to Bethany, where he raised Lazarus from the dead, a miracle which wins Him such renown among certain Pharisees that they have decided finally to end His life.

Jesus then took refuge at Ephrem returning six days before Passover to Bethany, today, entering Jerusalem, triumphantly. That evening, He leaves Jerusalem and returns Monday. He spends time with Gentiles in the Temple, and on Wednesday leaves for the Mount of Olives. Here he foretells to the apostles the events of the next several days, and of His impending death.

He returns to Jerusalem on Thursday, to share the Last Supper with His apostles. He is subsequently arrested, tried, and crucified on Friday on Calvary, at the gates of Jerusalem.  He is buried the same day. God so loved us, that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us, so that our sins may be forgiven.

Holy Tradition encompasses the beliefs of the Orthodox Church which are set forth in Holy Scripture, the writings of the Fathers, the liturgy of the Church, and through oral transmission through the ages. An example of Holy Tradition is that Joachim and Anna are the parents of Mary the Theotokos. Their names do not appear in the Bible, but have been handed down to us since the beginnings of Church history.

Orthodox traditions are defined as pious customs – they are things that we do, not things that we believe. There are many examples of pious traditions in the week from Palm Sunday through Pascha, the feast of the Resurrection.

An Arabic tradition is to hold candles decorated with flowers for Palm Sunday along with palm branches. Greeks hold crosses woven from either palm branches or bay leaves on Palm Sunday. Slavic peoples receive pussy willow branches on Palm Sunday. These are adaptations due to climate in the country of origin of these people.

In the Russian tradition, the faithful carry home the “Thursday Fire” – the candles that we hold during the reading of the 12 Passion Gospels on Holy Thursday night. The flame is used to light the lampada in the family’s Icon Corner where it remains burning for the whole year.

In the Greek tradition, on the other hand, the Paschal light is taken home instead. After the Resurrection service, the faithful do not blow out the candles, but hold them during the entire Paschal Divine Liturgy. Every time the Troparion “Christ is Risen..” is sung or the celebrant exclaims “Christ is risen!” everyone in the congregation lifts his candle high as the choir sings or responds with “Indeed, He is risen!” After the service, the faithful take the fire home to light the lampadas in front of their icons. At mealtimes, the candle is lit as the family sings “Christ is risen.”

The red egg that the celebrants presents to the faithful at the end of the Paschal Divine Liturgy is also a tradition. The egg represents Christ in the tomb. Breaking the egg is symbolic of the Resurrection.

Slavic people and by some Greek families observe the tradition of bringing a basket of food to be blessed after the Paschal Divine Liturgy. The basket usually contains bread (made with eggs and milk), cheese, meat, eggs, butter, salt, and other foods that the family plans on having for their Paschal celebration. There should also be a lit candle, symbolizing the Light of Christ.

Passover celebrates the Jewish people’s freedom from Egyptian bondage that took place over 3,000 years ago, as told in the biblical Book of Exodus. Under the reign of Pharaoh Rameses II, the Jewish leader Moses led his people out of Egypt after a series of 10 plagues that Moses warned the Pharaoh would devastate his people, if he refused to let them go. After each plague, the Pharaoh agreed to let the Hebrews go, but the Pharaoh soon changed his mind and continued to hold the Hebrews as slaves. Finally, after the 10th plague, the Pharoah let the Hebrews go for good. However, after the Hebrews left in a hurry, in fact so quickly that they did not have time to bake any bread for the trip to Canaan, and instead baked unleavened bread, called Matzah. The Pharaoh, being very fickle, changed his mind and sent his army into the Sinai desert after the Hebrews. The Hebrews had been wandering for 40 days and 40 nights down the Sinai peninsula until they reached the Red Sea. When they saw the Egyptian army fast approaching toward them, they called out in despair to Moses. Fortunately, g-d intervened and commanded Moses to strike his staff on the waters of the Red Sea creating a rift of land between the waves, enabling the Jews to cross over the Red Sea to safety on the other side. G-d then commanded Moses to strike the waters of the Red Sea again, just as the Egyptian army followed them through the parted Red Sea. The waters came together again, drowning the entire Egyptian army and the Hebrews were saved.

While the Hebrews were in Egypt as slaves, building cities at the hands of cruel taskmasters, the Pharaoh noticed that their population was becoming too numerous for his comfort. He then decreed that the first born male of every Hebrew family be put to death, in order to reduce this population threat. G-d then instructed Moses to tell the Hebrews to spread the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of each Hebrew home, so that the Angel of Death would ‘pass over’ the Hebrew homes, and instead slay the first-born male of every Egyptian family. The Hebrews were saved from this tragedy, but nonetheless were ordered by g-d to remember to say prayers for the slain Egyptian sons and later on, the drowned Egyptian army.

Since the time of Jewish freedom from Egyptian slavery, Jews have celebrated this historical event by having a feast called the ‘Seder’. The word ‘Seder’ means ‘order’ and refers to the order of historical events recalled in the Passover meal as well as the meal itself. The story of Passover is read from a book called the ‘Haggadah’. While the main story of Passover is read by Jews the world over, local customs and traditions have changed over time, so that the festival has been adapted to reflect the life and routine of individual communities. This is why the festival of Passover is celebrated differently in Tunisia than in Canada.

Passover is celebrated for 8 days (7 for Reform Jews), and always begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan. [From]


1. The maker doesn’t want it; the buyer doesn’t use it; and the user doesn’t see it. What is it?

2. A child is born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents who were both born in Boston, Massachusetts. The child is not a United States citizen. How is this possible?

3. Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on Earth?

4. Clara Clatter was born on December 27th, yet her birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

5. Captain Frank and some of the boys were exchanging old war stories. Art Bragg offered one about how his grandfather led a battalion against a German division during World War I. Through brilliant maneuvers he defeated them and captured valuable territory. After the battle he was presented with a sword bearing the inscription “To Captain Bragg for Bravery, Daring and Leadership. World War I. From the Men of Battalion 8.” Captain Frank looked at Art and said, “You really don’t expect anyone to believe that yarn, do you?” What’s wrong with the story?

6. What is one thing that all wise men, regardless of their religion or politics, agree is between heaven and earth?

7. In what year did Christmas and New Year’s fall in the same year?

8. A woman from New York married ten different men from that city, yet she did not break any laws. None of these men died, and she never divorced. How was this possible?

9. Why are 1990 American dollar bills worth more than 1989 American dollar bills?

10. How many times can you subtract the number 5 from 25?

11. How could you rearrange the letters in the words “new door” to make one word? Note: There is only one correct answer.

12. Even if they are starving, natives living in the Arctic will never eat a penguin’s egg. Why not?

13. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?

14. In Okmulgee, Oklahoma, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg.
Why not?

15. There were an electrician and a plumber waiting in line for admission to the International Home Show. One of them was the father of the other’s son. How could this be possible?

16. After the new Canon Law that took effect on November 27, 1983, would a Roman Catholic man be allowed to marry his widow’s sister?

17. How many outs are there in an inning?

18. How many animals of each sex did Moses take on the Ark?

19. A clerk in the butcher shop is 5′ 10″ tall. What does he weigh?

20. A farmer has 17 sheep and all but 9 die. How many are left?

21. What’s the greatest worldwide use of cowhide?

(Answers at the end of the newsletter)


This is weird. Follow the instructions! NO PEEKING AHEAD!

Free will or synaptic wiring? You be the judge.

Do the following exercise, guaranteed to raise an eyebrow. There’s no trick or surprise.  Just follow these instructions, and answer the questions one at a time and as quickly as you can!

Again, as quickly as you can but don’t advance until you’ve done each of them … really.
Now, arrow down (but not too fast, you might miss something).
Think of a number from 1 to 10
Multiply that number by 9
If the number is a 2-digit number, add the digits together.
Now subtract 5
Determine which letter in the alphabet corresponds to the number you ended up with (example: 1=a, 2=b, 3=c, etc.)
Think of a country that starts with that letter
Remember the last letter of the name of that country
Think of the name of an animal that starts with that letter
Remember the last letter in the name of that animal
Think of the name of a fruit that starts with that letter
Are you thinking of a Kangaroo in Denmark eating an Orange?
I told you this was FREAKY!!

If not, you’re among the 2% of the population whose minds are different enough to think of something else…and 98% of people will answer with kangaroos in Denmark when given this exercise. Freaky, huh?
[Received from Jake Izatt]

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.
[Arthur C. Clarke]

Today, upon a bus,
I saw a girl with golden hair.
I envied her, she seemed so gay,
And I wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch.
But as she passed, she gave a smile.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 legs, the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it’d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
“I thank you, you’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He seemed not to know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
“Why don’t you join the others dear?”
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew he couldn’t hear.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I’d go.
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.
With ears to hear what I’d know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I’ve been blessed indeed, the world is mine.
[Author unknown]


ORIGINAL: If anything can go wrong…it will.

– Anything dropped while working on a car will roll underneath to the exact center.
– The chances of a piece of bread falling butter side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
– The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.
–  A $200.00 picture tube will protect a 10 cent fuse by blowing first.
– Save yourself a lot of worry, don’t burn your bridges until you over them.
– The more we complicate the plan, the greater the chance of failure.
– Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
– A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and hours are lost.
– Never leave the room during a committee formation or you’re elected.
– For every vision there is an equal and opposite revision.
– Rule for precision: Measure with a micrometer; Mark with chalk; Cut with an axe.
– If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible sequence.
– Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.
– Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune times.
– The first place to look for anything is the last place you would expect to find it.
– The time it takes to rectify a situation is inversely proportional to the time it took to do the damage.
– You can always find what you’re not looking for.
– The best way to inspire fresh thoughts is to seal the letter.
– For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.

When the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1519 he was intent on conquest. To assure the devotion of his men, Cortez set fire to his fleet of 11 ships! With no means of retreat Cortez’s army had only one direction to move, into the Mexican interior. Cortez understood the price of commitment — and he paid it.

Commitment. In younger days a man’s word was his bond. He was committed to keeping his word. For the most part it seems those days are gone. And that’s very sad. And how many today are genuinely committed in their relationships? And when they have problems, how many are committed to facing their issues and working through them, rather than playing the blame game?

If we are going to truly love and serve God, then we need to sort out our priorities and burn the bridges to all the things in our life (including good things) that lead us away from God.  [Dick Innes]

The man who has everything plus God is no richer than the man who only has God.
[C.S. Lewis]

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I’d like better.

I’d really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in, I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother. And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you, let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him. I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I don’t care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don’t like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle. May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you-tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life.

Send this to all of your friends who mean the most to you. We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them.
[Paul Harvey-Received from Richard Bachman]

– Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
– Use a meat baster to “squeeze” your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you’ll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time.
– To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
– To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.
– Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan and the marshmallows won’t stick to your fingers.
– To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.
– To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop.
– Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces and there won’t be any stains.
– When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
– If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant “fix-me-up.”
– Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
– Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
– Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it.
– When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness.
– To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, but if it rises to the surface, throw it away.
– Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
– If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
– Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.
– To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
– Ants, ants, ants everywhere … Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
– Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
– When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off.
– Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
– Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer.
– Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.
– Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.
– Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
– Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
– Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar — Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There’s a God-shaped hole in all of is
And it’s a void only He can fill.

The vacuous and empty place of the soul that plagues so many people we see today, is actually a God-shaped hole — a void, an emptiness that only God can fill. So many folks try to fill it with false saviors — drugs and alcohol, work and accomplishment, status and prestige, power and influence, even religion. But, there is only one source of relief for this empty pit. God!

In other words, God made us with an emptiness (it’s a hole that God shaped) that only our Eternal Father can fill (it’s shaped in a way that only God can fit and finish). You see, the Creator wanted us to go in search of him and find him. He made us with an ache whose only salve is Himself. He made us with a soul that is restless, until it rests in him.

The Good News, however, goes far beyond our need and hunger to find God. God came in search of us. He sent Jesus, his Son, God in human flesh, to come to earth and bring us back to our Father. He wanted us to find the way home. He wanted to fill our emptiness. Just as surely as the Magi from the East looked into the sky and saw a strange bright star that alerted and guided them to the King of Kings, God sent his Son to guide us home to himself.

There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us, but thankfully, Jesus gives us the way to fill up what is empty and complete what is lacking.

Once upon a time a dog was crossing a bridge over a small river and carrying a piece of meat in his mouth. Seeing his own reflection in the water, he thought that he saw another dog with a bigger piece of meat. In an attempt to snatch the bigger piece of meat away from the other dog he opened his mouth and dropped the piece of meat that he already had.

The result was that he had nothing. He couldn’t get the other piece of meat because it didn’t exist; and his own piece of meat, which fell out of his mouth, was swept down the stream by the swift current  [Aesop]

What will it take to make us content with what we have? [Ed.]

It’s the little things that bother us
and put us on the rack,
you can sit upon a mountain
but you can’t sit on a tack!

When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.

Make up for your lack of ability by abundant continuance in well-doing, and your life-work will not be trivial. The repetition of small efforts will accomplish more than the occasional use of great talents.  [Charles Spurgeon]

I was reminded of a story of a man who took home a cocoon so he could watch the emperor moth emerge. As the moth struggled to get through the tiny opening, the man enlarged it with the snip of his scissors. The moth emerged easily–but its wings were shriveled. The struggle through the narrow opening is God’s way to force fluid from its body into its wings. The “merciful” snip, in reality, was cruel.  [Joanie E. Yoder]

Hope, like an anchor, holds to the unseen.

Walking through a park, I passed a massive oak tree. A vine had grown up along its trunk.  The vine started small–nothing to bother about. But over the years the vine had gotten taller and taller. By the time I passed, the entire lower half of the tree was covered by the vine’s creepers. The mass of tiny feelers was so thick that the tree looked as though it had innumerable birds’ nests in it.

Now the tree was in danger. This huge, solid oak was quite literally being taken over; the life was being squeezed from it. But the gardeners in that park had seen the danger.

They had taken a saw and severed the trunk of the vine–one neat cut across the middle. The tangled mass of the vine’s branches still clung to the oak, but the vine was now dead. That would gradually become plain as weeks passed and the creepers began to die and fall away from the tree. How easy it is for sin, which begins so small and seemingly insignificant, to grow until it has a strangling grip on our lives. And yet, Christ’s death has cut the power of sin. Yes, the “creepers” of sin still cling and have some effect. But sin’s power is severed by Christ, and gradually, sin’s grip dries up and falls away.
[J. Alistair Brown]
Some people ‘write’ their complaints in marble and their blessings in sand.
[Charles Spurgeon]

People are like tea bags – You never know their strength until they get into hot water.

Life is like snow: you don’t know when it will come or how long it will last or how much you will get.

The freest person in the world is one with an open heart, a broken spirit, and a new direction in which to travel.  [Gordon MacDonald]

Most true happiness comes from one’s inner life, from the disposition of the mind and soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is difficult to achieve, especially in these trying times. It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.  [W L Shirer]

I asked God to take away my pain.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away,
but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
Her spirit was whole,
her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
it isn’t granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings.
Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own,
but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life so that
you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me LOVE others,
as much as he loves me.

God said…Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.
[Received from Beth McMillan]

** An application was for employment
** A program was a TV show
** A cursor used profanity
** A keyboard was a piano!
** Memory was something that you lost with age
** A CD was a bank account!
** And if you had a broken disk, It would hurt when you found out!
** Compress was something you did to garbage, Not something you did to a file
** If you unzipped anything in public you’d be in jail for a while!
** Log on was adding wood to a fire
** Hard drive was a long trip on the road
** A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
** And a backup happened to your commode!
** Cut – you did with a pocket knife
** Paste – you did with glue
** A web was a spider’s home
** And a virus was the flu!

When a ship’s carpenter needed timber to make a mast for a sailing vessel, he did not cut it in the valley, but up on the mountainside where the trees have been buffeted by the winds. These trees, he knew, were the strongest of all. Hardship is not our choice; but if we face it bravely, it can toughen the fiber of our souls.

And that’s exactly why God disciplines us and allows us to go through trials. They are designed to strengthen us and help us to grow healthy and strong.  [Billy Graham]

Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God.  [St Augustine]

Old quilters never die, they just go to pieces.

It takes strength to be firm
It takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to stand guard.
It takes courage to let down your guard
It takes strength to conquer.
It takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain.
It takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in.
It takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain.
It takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to hide your own pains.
It takes courage to show them.
It takes strength to endure abuse.
It takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone.
It takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love.
It takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive.
It takes courage to live.
[Author Unknown]

Medical insurance is what allows people to be ill at ease!

The speaker began by saying, “I am so nervous this morning I think
I could thread a sewing machine with it running.  [Lawrence Brotherton]

A young person knows the rules but the old person knows the exceptions.

Thomas Edison’s laboratory was virtually destroyed by fire in December 1914. Although the damage exceeded $2 million, the buildings were only insured for $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof. Much of Edison’s life’s work went up in spectacular flames that December night.

At the height of the fire, Edison’s 24-year old son, Charles, frantically searched for his father among the smoke and debris. He finally found him, calmly watching the scene, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind.

“My heart ached for him,” said Charles. “He was 67 – no longer a young man – and everything was going up in flames. When he saw me, he shouted, “Charles, where’s your mother?” When I told him I didn’t know, he said, “Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.”

The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver his first phonograph.
[The Sower’s Seeds]

CONFUCIOUS SAY: Woman who puts detergent on top shelf, jump for Joy.

(A)ccepts you as you are
(B)elieves in “you”
(C)alls you just to say “HI”
(D)oesn’t give up on you
(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F)orgives your mistakes
(G)ives unconditionally
(H)elps you
(I)nvites you over
(J)ust “be” with you
(K)eeps you close at heart
(L)oves you for who you are
(M)akes a difference in your life
(N)ever Judges
(O)ffer support
(P)icks you up
(Q)uiets your fears
(R)aises your spirits
(S)ays nice things about you
(T)ells you the truth when you need tohear it
(U)nderstands you
(V)alues you
(W)alks beside you
(X)-plains thing you don’t understand
(Y)ells when you won’t listen and
(Z)aps you back to reality
Do You Qualify?
[Received from Joe Olson]

Absentee: A missing golfing accessory.

In the midst of outer dangers, I have felt an inner calm and known resources of strength that only God could give. In many instances I have felt the power of God transforming the fatigue of despair into the buoyancy of hope. I am convinced that the universe is under the control of a loving purpose and that in the struggle for righteousness man has cosmic companionship. Behind the harsh appearances of the world there is a benign power.
[Martin Luther King, Jr.]

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much;
He, who loses a friend, loses much more;
He, who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

Friends, you and me….
You brought another friend….
And then there were 3.
We started our group….
Our circle of friends….
And like a true circle….
There is no beginning or end..
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.
[Received from John Gibson]

An atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman.”  [Anonymous]

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
[Dwight D. Eisenhower]

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

Disappointments are like road humps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards.

Don’t stay on the humps too long. Move on! When you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, just sit tight and be happy, because God is thinking of something better to give you.

When something happens to you, good or bad, consider what it means. There’s a purpose to life’s events, to teach you how to laugh more or not to cry too hard.

You can’t make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved, the rest is up to the person to realize your worth.

The measure of love is when you love without measure. In life there are very rare chances that you’ll meet the person you love and loves you in return. So once you have it don’t ever let go, the chance might never come your way again.

It’s better to lose your pride to the one you love, than to lose the one you love because of pride.

We spend too much time looking for the right person to love or finding fault with those we already love, when instead we should be perfecting the love we give.

When you truly care for someone, you don’t look for faults, you don’t look for answers, you don’t look for mistakes. Instead, you fight the mistakes, you accept the faults, and you overlook the excuses.

Never abandon an old friend. You will never find one who can take his ( or her ) place. Friendship is like wine, it gets better as it grows older.

Don’t stay on the humps too long. Move on!
[Received from Laurie Westman]

Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.  [Eric Hoffer]

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
[Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.]
You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.  [Buddha]

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
[Ralph Waldo Emerson]

The next time you feel like complaining, remember that your garbage disposal probably eats better than 30 percent of the people in the world.

The past should be a springboard not a hammock.  [Iverne Ball]

Read this sentence:


Now count the F’s in that sentence. Count only once and don’t go back a 2nd time.
Scroll down for the answer:

There are six F’s in the sentence. A person of average intelligence finds three of them. If you spotted four, you’re above average. If you got five, you did great.

Before you look at the explanation, feel free to go back and count again, there really are six in there. Give up? Scroll down for more.

If you caught six, you are a genius! There is no catch. Many people forget the “OFs.”  The human brain tends to see them as V’s and not F’s.
[Submitted by Pamela Gayle Watson]

“There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.”  [Han Suyin]

The true test of maturity is the ability to ignore an insult.
Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?
Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?
Dieting is the triumph of mind over platter.

The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you – depending on how you respond to them.

Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what  benefit they might bring.

Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in your life:

1. God uses problems to DIRECT you.
Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”
Proverbs 20:30

2. God uses problems to INSPECT you.
People are like tea bags…if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot ever water! Has God tested your faith with a problem What do problems reveal about you? “When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.” James 1:2-3

3. God uses problems to CORRECT you.
Some lessons we learn only through  pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something…health, money, a relationship… by losing it. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.”  Psalm 119:71-72

4. God uses problems to PROTECT you.
A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem – but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…
Genesis 50:20

5. God uses problems to PERFECT you.
Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God  and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity.

“We can rejoice when we run into problems…they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.” Romans 5:3-4

Here’s the point: God is at work in your life – even when you do not recognize it or understand it. But it’s much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

“Success can be measured not only in achievements, but in lessons learned, lives touched and moments shared along the way.”   [Unknown]

Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence.

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son to the fence and he said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.” [Received from Joy Asashon]


1. A coffin.
2. The child was born before 1776.
3. Mount Everest (it just hadn’t been discovered).
4. Clara lives in the southern hemisphere.
5. World War I wasn’t called “World War I” until World War II.
6. The word “and”.
7. They fall in the same year every year. New Year’s Day just arrives very early in the year and Christmas arrives very late in the same year.
8. The lady was a Justice of the Peace.
9. One thousand nine hundred and ninety dollar bills are worth one dollar more than one thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine dollar bills.
10. Only once, and then you are subtracting it from 20.
11. “one word”
12. Penguins live in the Antarctic.
13. Neither. The yolk of the egg is yellow.
14. You have to take a picture of a man with a camera, not with a wooden leg.
15. They were husband and wife.
16. No. A dead man can marry no one.
17. Six . Three in each half of the inning.
18. Moses took no animals. It was Noah on the Ark.
19. Meat.
20. Nine.
21. To hold cows together.
[forwarded by Brad Thayer]

Eternity….Smoking or Non-smoking?

Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  [2 Corinthians 5:17]


Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.


2 Responses to “Change can be Traumatic [v25]”

  1. NHS Dentist Says:

    Interesting take on this issue. I for 1 have seen many twists on this and can generally spot the holes in the arguement nevertheless, on this occasion I belelive your writing is such that everyone will need to be in agreement with this. Thank you for sharing it with us.


    • markbesh Says:

      NHS Dentist,
      Wow, that one I wrote a long time ago—and ‘change’ hasn’t gotten any easier since then (it may have gotten even harder). But, there is one ‘change’ that can affect your ‘eternity’—that of receiving the ‘gift’ that God wants to give every one of us—if we just ask Him for it.

      If you are interested, take a look at a web site I created for more about this:



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